Johannesburg - Thea Jarvis and her three daughters are a forceful combination of angels, parents, caregivers and fundraisers. Directly as a result of their commitment to caring for abandoned children, they run the TLC Children’s Home in Eikenhof and have adopted 38 children over 25 years.
TLC Children’s Home accommodates up to 32 infants and children under the age of three years old.
The home, which relies wholly on donations, has launched a new initiative – Adopt-a-Cot – which will cover the cost of caring for one baby for one month.
Through Adopt-a-Cot, donors can sponsor one to 10 cots a month for a mere R100, $10 or £10 per cot. These small monthly donations go towards the care of the baby who occupies the cot and includes formula, nappies, clothes, food, medicine and anything else the little one might need to thrive.
According to the National Adoption Coalition of South Africa (NACSA), figures indicate 65% of abandoned children are newborn and 90% are younger than a year. In light of these frightening statistics, homes such as the TLC Children’s Home have been doing a phenomenal job in coming to the rescue and providing a safe haven for neglected, abused or orphaned babies and children.
Research shows that 75% of a baby’s brain is formed in the first year and the nutrition during the first 1 000 days, from conception to two years old, and has a profound impact on a child’s ability to grow and learn physically and emotionally.
“We do our utmost to give our children a household which is as close to a home as possible and to give them as good a start to life as we can but we are constantly battling against inflation and the soaring cost of everyday basic items. When one thinks of the cost of nappies and baby formula, R100 a month is very little to ask, but means so much,” says Thea Jarvis, founder and managing director of TLC Children’s Home.
Without the generosity of homes like these, it is unbearable to imagine the fate of these poor, defenceless babies and children. The home currently receives about 15% of funds required for each baby but needs to cover the balance to ensure it can continue to tend to the children in its care.
Jarvis and her daughter Pippa live in family homes on site, while, her daughters Joanna and Faith live close by, and work on the premises. So much of what happens in the nursery intertwines with the family dynamics, and vice versa.
“Sadly, because the casework for some of the children can take many years to resolve, we do have children older than three years in our care. Even though TLC identifies itself as more of a family environment as opposed to a typical institution, we are aware that this is no replacement for a family. This acknowledgement motivates our efforts to ensure each child’s stay with us is as short as possible and that they are placed into a permanent, loving home as quickly as possible,” says Jarvis.
How can you contribute?
Click here: http://tlc.org.za/adopt-a-cot/. Complete the form and email it through. Select “Yes” for the newsletter option as you will receive monthly personalised updates on the progress of the baby in your cot.